Digging to China

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

One of the groups I record may let me accompany them to China next year. I
have the usual list of travel gotchas (shots, papers, etc.) What audio
concerns do I have aside from power?

I know I'll need sturdier racks and better boxes for mic stands, etc.
8 answers Last reply
More about digging china
  1. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    The issues you will face will have little to do with audio
    except for the usual things associated with
    concert/performance recording situations (assuming you are
    recording in a concert environment.

    If the group is choral and orchestral, be prepared to deal
    with house sound systems that are optimized for Chinese
    opera-type programs, and for the Chinese ear. The house
    sound people will have little exposure to Western music and
    unless you speak technical Chinese fluently, you are going
    to have to deal with it through whatever translator you have
    handy. (If you're lucky enough to have a translator.) More
    than likely, you're going to be throwing up your hands
    (figuratively), and taking what you can get. Don't count on
    board feeds. The places I encountered have equipment ranging
    from old Peavey, Behringer, names I couldn't pronounce,
    names I could even read. Speakers tend to be MI stacks.
    Their theatres can be magnificent, and you may encounter
    stage lighting consisting of several hundred 5k - 10 BPs at
    100 percent. One of the bassists with the orchestra I toured
    with refused to play at one place because the light
    intensity was such that it was melting the finish on
    $250,000 bass.

    (My wife says my omelet is ready ... more later.)


    TM

    Carey Carlan wrote:
    >
    > One of the groups I record may let me accompany them to China next year. I
    > have the usual list of travel gotchas (shots, papers, etc.) What audio
    > concerns do I have aside from power?
    >
    > I know I'll need sturdier racks and better boxes for mic stands, etc.
  2. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    T Maki <tmaki@earthlink.net> wrote in
    news:424EEBD9.DAA71A99@earthlink.net:

    > If the grovp is choral and orchestral, be prepared to deal
    > with hovse sovnd systems that are optimized for Chinese
    > opera-type programs, and for the Chinese ear.

    The grovp will be abovt 60-80 members of a 100 piece orchestra (depending
    on who can come). They need little or no svpport from hovse sovnd. I
    typically set vp mic stands on stage or in the avdience first few rows.

    Is there anything comparable to the American vnion setvp, where I can't set
    vp or vse my own gear in some halls?
  3. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    (continuing..)

    If you plan on setting up in normal concert recording style,
    be prepared to deal with the amplified sound. You will
    likely not be able to convince them to not amplify. I repeat
    - YOU will not have any say over it. A Chinese with the tour
    may be able to convince them, if you can communicate to
    them.

    Be prepared for audiences at least as rude as any you've
    ever experienced here. You will endure cell phone
    conversations, cigarette smoke that will put you on the
    floor, crying, laughing, burping, farting, and whatever
    other environmental noises. Did I mention the lighting
    systems? Those millions of watts of power are controlled
    through dimmers. They hum, they have fans.

    You will most likely not have any trouble with stage crews,
    especially if you have a helpful attitude. The guys and gals
    on stage want to learn, and if you make an effort to deal
    with them as fellow professionals, and show them something
    they might not know (make something up if you have to - show
    them the proper way to coil a cable or something), you will
    make friends. Keep your eyes open for opportunities to help.
    If possible, do a walk-thru ahead of time wherever you can.
    More than likely, your buses will arrive 1 hour before
    curtain, and you will have no time to set up, let alone
    argue with the house personnel. Just get in there, set up
    your stuff, and roll tape. You're not going to have an
    opportunity to do rehearsal tests. You'd better be able to
    scope out a room, stage, and setup in the time it takes to
    carry your equipment across the stage. They will not allow
    the show to start late. You will be awestricken by some of
    their theatres.

    If you can, try not to rely on house power. If you can't run
    all your gear on batteries that you take with you, you will
    be in my prayers. Determine the number of batteries that you
    think you can get by with. Triple that number.

    Do not under any circumstances allow your equipment to get
    out of your hands or out of your sight. DO NOT.

    Assume nothing. Do not assume that you will have any kind of
    load in or load out help. Do not assume that anything is
    going to work the way you expect. Do not demand anything.
    You have to have the attitude that what happens, happens;
    that what you get is what you get.

    Take four times the amount of money you think you will need.
    Do not take Amex travelers checks. Take US cash. Do not get
    fleeced at the money exchange counters. Look for the best
    exchange rates. Be careful of taking old Yuan as against new
    Yuan. Old Yuan is worthless, but you will have it pushed at
    you. It may not appear obvious to you or the people on your
    tour, but the Chinese will have no trouble recognizing you
    as a tourist. Learn the details of the Chinese monetary
    system - as much of the currency denominations as will fit
    in your brain. Be prepared to do the math for lots of people
    on the tour. (Just how hard is it to figure out that eight
    Yuan is a dollar? Two Yuan is a quarter - figure it out...)
    You will have those experiences, especially with the
    sourvenir booths at The Great Wall or The Temple of Heaven.

    Remember that you will be going to a Communist country. You
    will have no rights there. Do not push your luck with any
    police or other official. You must have a "Please, Sir;
    Excuse me, Sir; Thank you, Sir; Whatever you say, Sir"
    attitude.

    Make excellent color copies of your passport and put a copy
    in every piece of luggage and every equipment case. (I
    scanned mine and printed it - almost looked real). If at all
    possible, DO NOT allow your passport out of your sight. If
    you have to surrender your passport, know exactly who has it
    and when you will get it back.

    If you fly domestically, be prepared to be fleeced for
    extraordinary overweight baggage charges. I nearly had to
    pay $300.00 for a case not much bigger than an Anvil
    briefcase and two collapsed mic stands in plastic tubes.

    Do not fail to fill out Customs Form 4457 for all pieces of
    your equipment. If you are not able to prove that you owned
    it before you came into the country, you will either have to
    pay duty (and possibly fines) on it, but may also face
    confiscation. Get the form at the Customs desk at your US
    departure airport.

    Remind the women on your tour that the Chinese are very
    conservative in dress. Any show of skin on stage (short
    skirts, sleeveless or low necklines, bare mid-riffs, even
    shoes without toes) are disrespectful. Anyone wearing
    questionable clothing may be asked to leave the stage, and
    may jeopardize the gig.

    Last, but certainly not least - and there are gobs of other
    things - try not to pick an airplane that's going to crash.
    An incident like that can ruin your travel experience. If
    you like aggressive flying, you're gonna love the way those
    Chinese military pilots handle an airplane - "Yeah, Baby!"

    Of course, your tour might be perfect, and none of this will
    apply. I hope that's the case.


    TM


    Carey Carlan wrote:
    >
    > One of the groups I record may let me accompany them to China next year. I
    > have the usual list of travel gotchas (shots, papers, etc.) What audio
    > concerns do I have aside from power?
  4. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    Just curious, when were you last in China?

    Al

    On Sat, 02 Apr 2005 20:47:36 GMT, T Maki <tmaki@earthlink.net> wrote:

    >(continuing..)
    >
    >If you plan on setting up in normal concert recording style,
    >be prepared to deal with the amplified sound. You will
    >likely not be able to convince them to not amplify. I repeat
    >- YOU will not have any say over it. A Chinese with the tour
    >may be able to convince them, if you can communicate to
    >them.
    >
    >Be prepared for audiences at least as rude as any you've
    >ever experienced here. You will endure cell phone
    >conversations, cigarette smoke that will put you on the
    >floor, crying, laughing, burping, farting, and whatever
    >other environmental noises. Did I mention the lighting
    >systems? Those millions of watts of power are controlled
    >through dimmers. They hum, they have fans.
    >
    >You will most likely not have any trouble with stage crews,
    >especially if you have a helpful attitude. The guys and gals
    >on stage want to learn, and if you make an effort to deal
    >with them as fellow professionals, and show them something
    >they might not know (make something up if you have to - show
    >them the proper way to coil a cable or something), you will
    >make friends. Keep your eyes open for opportunities to help.
    >If possible, do a walk-thru ahead of time wherever you can.
    >More than likely, your buses will arrive 1 hour before
    >curtain, and you will have no time to set up, let alone
    >argue with the house personnel. Just get in there, set up
    >your stuff, and roll tape. You're not going to have an
    >opportunity to do rehearsal tests. You'd better be able to
    >scope out a room, stage, and setup in the time it takes to
    >carry your equipment across the stage. They will not allow
    >the show to start late. You will be awestricken by some of
    >their theatres.
    >
    >If you can, try not to rely on house power. If you can't run
    >all your gear on batteries that you take with you, you will
    >be in my prayers. Determine the number of batteries that you
    >think you can get by with. Triple that number.
    >
    >Do not under any circumstances allow your equipment to get
    >out of your hands or out of your sight. DO NOT.
    >
    >Assume nothing. Do not assume that you will have any kind of
    >load in or load out help. Do not assume that anything is
    >going to work the way you expect. Do not demand anything.
    >You have to have the attitude that what happens, happens;
    >that what you get is what you get.
    >
    >Take four times the amount of money you think you will need.
    >Do not take Amex travelers checks. Take US cash. Do not get
    >fleeced at the money exchange counters. Look for the best
    >exchange rates. Be careful of taking old Yuan as against new
    >Yuan. Old Yuan is worthless, but you will have it pushed at
    >you. It may not appear obvious to you or the people on your
    >tour, but the Chinese will have no trouble recognizing you
    >as a tourist. Learn the details of the Chinese monetary
    >system - as much of the currency denominations as will fit
    >in your brain. Be prepared to do the math for lots of people
    >on the tour. (Just how hard is it to figure out that eight
    >Yuan is a dollar? Two Yuan is a quarter - figure it out...)
    >You will have those experiences, especially with the
    >sourvenir booths at The Great Wall or The Temple of Heaven.
    >
    >Remember that you will be going to a Communist country. You
    >will have no rights there. Do not push your luck with any
    >police or other official. You must have a "Please, Sir;
    >Excuse me, Sir; Thank you, Sir; Whatever you say, Sir"
    >attitude.
    >
    >Make excellent color copies of your passport and put a copy
    >in every piece of luggage and every equipment case. (I
    >scanned mine and printed it - almost looked real). If at all
    >possible, DO NOT allow your passport out of your sight. If
    >you have to surrender your passport, know exactly who has it
    >and when you will get it back.
    >
    >If you fly domestically, be prepared to be fleeced for
    >extraordinary overweight baggage charges. I nearly had to
    >pay $300.00 for a case not much bigger than an Anvil
    >briefcase and two collapsed mic stands in plastic tubes.
    >
    >Do not fail to fill out Customs Form 4457 for all pieces of
    >your equipment. If you are not able to prove that you owned
    >it before you came into the country, you will either have to
    >pay duty (and possibly fines) on it, but may also face
    >confiscation. Get the form at the Customs desk at your US
    >departure airport.
    >
    >Remind the women on your tour that the Chinese are very
    >conservative in dress. Any show of skin on stage (short
    >skirts, sleeveless or low necklines, bare mid-riffs, even
    >shoes without toes) are disrespectful. Anyone wearing
    >questionable clothing may be asked to leave the stage, and
    >may jeopardize the gig.
    >
    >Last, but certainly not least - and there are gobs of other
    >things - try not to pick an airplane that's going to crash.
    >An incident like that can ruin your travel experience. If
    >you like aggressive flying, you're gonna love the way those
    >Chinese military pilots handle an airplane - "Yeah, Baby!"
    >
    >Of course, your tour might be perfect, and none of this will
    >apply. I hope that's the case.
    >
    >
    >
    >TM
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >Carey Carlan wrote:
    >>
    >> One of the groups I record may let me accompany them to China next year. I
    >> have the usual list of travel gotchas (shots, papers, etc.) What audio
    >> concerns do I have aside from power?
  5. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    T Maki <tmaki@earthlink.net> wrote in
    news:424F043E.546FD9E0@earthlink.net:

    > (continuing..)
    >
    > If you plan on setting up in normal concert recording style,
    > be prepared to deal with the amplified sound. You will
    > likely not be able to convince them to not amplify. I repeat
    > - YOU will not have any say over it. A Chinese with the tour
    > may be able to convince them, if you can communicate to
    > them.

    Several members of the group claim to speak Chinese. No word yet on which
    dialect.

    > Be prepared for audiences at least as rude as any you've
    > ever experienced here. You will endure cell phone
    > conversations, cigarette smoke that will put you on the
    > floor, crying, laughing, burping, farting, and whatever
    > other environmental noises. Did I mention the lighting
    > systems? Those millions of watts of power are controlled
    > through dimmers. They hum, they have fans.

    Shucks, I get those here.

    > You will most likely not have any trouble with stage crews,
    > especially if you have a helpful attitude. The guys and gals
    > on stage want to learn, and if you make an effort to deal
    > with them as fellow professionals, and show them something
    > they might not know (make something up if you have to - show
    > them the proper way to coil a cable or something), you will
    > make friends. Keep your eyes open for opportunities to help.
    > If possible, do a walk-thru ahead of time wherever you can.
    > More than likely, your buses will arrive 1 hour before
    > curtain, and you will have no time to set up, let alone
    > argue with the house personnel. Just get in there, set up
    > your stuff, and roll tape. You're not going to have an
    > opportunity to do rehearsal tests. You'd better be able to
    > scope out a room, stage, and setup in the time it takes to
    > carry your equipment across the stage. They will not allow
    > the show to start late. You will be awestricken by some of
    > their theatres.

    Setting up blind is a skill I have aquired over the decades. Setup on my
    own can take only moments.

    > If you can, try not to rely on house power. If you can't run
    > all your gear on batteries that you take with you, you will
    > be in my prayers. Determine the number of batteries that you
    > think you can get by with. Triple that number.

    Everything electrical is in one rack.
    Triple that number? No charging available?

    > Do not under any circumstances allow your equipment to get
    > out of your hands or out of your sight. DO NOT.

    No armed guards allowed, huh?

    > Assume nothing. Do not assume that you will have any kind of
    > load in or load out help. Do not assume that anything is
    > going to work the way you expect. Do not demand anything.
    > You have to have the attitude that what happens, happens;
    > that what you get is what you get.

    My gear in and out will be small time by comparison to the orchestra. 4
    double basses, full complement of percussion, 50 or so music stands. I
    suppose we'll have to carry chairs as well.

    <snip currency notes>
    <snip deportment notes>
    <snip passport notes>

    > If you fly domestically, be prepared to be fleeced for
    > extraordinary overweight baggage charges. I nearly had to
    > pay $300.00 for a case not much bigger than an Anvil
    > briefcase and two collapsed mic stands in plastic tubes.

    Once again, they will need some significant transport. I'll be
    piggybacking on that.

    > Do not fail to fill out Customs Form 4457 for all pieces of
    > your equipment. If you are not able to prove that you owned
    > it before you came into the country, you will either have to
    > pay duty (and possibly fines) on it, but may also face
    > confiscation. Get the form at the Customs desk at your US
    > departure airport.

    I need to check on insurance coverage.

    <snip dress code notes>
    <snip airplane notes>

    > Of course, your tour might be perfect, and none of this will
    > apply. I hope that's the case.

    I'm traveling with a group of high schoolers and their keepers. I suspect
    they'll have us all on a very short leash.
  6. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    This past September/October


    TM

    playon wrote:
    >
    > Just curious, when were you last in China?
    >
    > Al
    >
    > On Sat, 02 Apr 2005 20:47:36 GMT, T Maki <tmaki@earthlink.net> wrote:
    >
    > >(continuing..)
    > >
    > >If you plan on setting up in normal concert recording style,
    > >be prepared to deal with the amplified sound. You will
    > >likely not be able to convince them to not amplify. I repeat
    > >- YOU will not have any say over it. A Chinese with the tour
    > >may be able to convince them, if you can communicate to
    > >them.
    > >
    > >Be prepared for audiences at least as rude as any you've
    > >ever experienced here. You will endure cell phone
    > >conversations, cigarette smoke that will put you on the
    > >floor, crying, laughing, burping, farting, and whatever
    > >other environmental noises. Did I mention the lighting
    > >systems? Those millions of watts of power are controlled
    > >through dimmers. They hum, they have fans.
    > >
    > >You will most likely not have any trouble with stage crews,
    > >especially if you have a helpful attitude. The guys and gals
    > >on stage want to learn, and if you make an effort to deal
    > >with them as fellow professionals, and show them something
    > >they might not know (make something up if you have to - show
    > >them the proper way to coil a cable or something), you will
    > >make friends. Keep your eyes open for opportunities to help.
    > >If possible, do a walk-thru ahead of time wherever you can.
    > >More than likely, your buses will arrive 1 hour before
    > >curtain, and you will have no time to set up, let alone
    > >argue with the house personnel. Just get in there, set up
    > >your stuff, and roll tape. You're not going to have an
    > >opportunity to do rehearsal tests. You'd better be able to
    > >scope out a room, stage, and setup in the time it takes to
    > >carry your equipment across the stage. They will not allow
    > >the show to start late. You will be awestricken by some of
    > >their theatres.
    > >
    > >If you can, try not to rely on house power. If you can't run
    > >all your gear on batteries that you take with you, you will
    > >be in my prayers. Determine the number of batteries that you
    > >think you can get by with. Triple that number.
    > >
    > >Do not under any circumstances allow your equipment to get
    > >out of your hands or out of your sight. DO NOT.
    > >
    > >Assume nothing. Do not assume that you will have any kind of
    > >load in or load out help. Do not assume that anything is
    > >going to work the way you expect. Do not demand anything.
    > >You have to have the attitude that what happens, happens;
    > >that what you get is what you get.
    > >
    > >Take four times the amount of money you think you will need.
    > >Do not take Amex travelers checks. Take US cash. Do not get
    > >fleeced at the money exchange counters. Look for the best
    > >exchange rates. Be careful of taking old Yuan as against new
    > >Yuan. Old Yuan is worthless, but you will have it pushed at
    > >you. It may not appear obvious to you or the people on your
    > >tour, but the Chinese will have no trouble recognizing you
    > >as a tourist. Learn the details of the Chinese monetary
    > >system - as much of the currency denominations as will fit
    > >in your brain. Be prepared to do the math for lots of people
    > >on the tour. (Just how hard is it to figure out that eight
    > >Yuan is a dollar? Two Yuan is a quarter - figure it out...)
    > >You will have those experiences, especially with the
    > >sourvenir booths at The Great Wall or The Temple of Heaven.
    > >
    > >Remember that you will be going to a Communist country. You
    > >will have no rights there. Do not push your luck with any
    > >police or other official. You must have a "Please, Sir;
    > >Excuse me, Sir; Thank you, Sir; Whatever you say, Sir"
    > >attitude.
    > >
    > >Make excellent color copies of your passport and put a copy
    > >in every piece of luggage and every equipment case. (I
    > >scanned mine and printed it - almost looked real). If at all
    > >possible, DO NOT allow your passport out of your sight. If
    > >you have to surrender your passport, know exactly who has it
    > >and when you will get it back.
    > >
    > >If you fly domestically, be prepared to be fleeced for
    > >extraordinary overweight baggage charges. I nearly had to
    > >pay $300.00 for a case not much bigger than an Anvil
    > >briefcase and two collapsed mic stands in plastic tubes.
    > >
    > >Do not fail to fill out Customs Form 4457 for all pieces of
    > >your equipment. If you are not able to prove that you owned
    > >it before you came into the country, you will either have to
    > >pay duty (and possibly fines) on it, but may also face
    > >confiscation. Get the form at the Customs desk at your US
    > >departure airport.
    > >
    > >Remind the women on your tour that the Chinese are very
    > >conservative in dress. Any show of skin on stage (short
    > >skirts, sleeveless or low necklines, bare mid-riffs, even
    > >shoes without toes) are disrespectful. Anyone wearing
    > >questionable clothing may be asked to leave the stage, and
    > >may jeopardize the gig.
    > >
    > >Last, but certainly not least - and there are gobs of other
    > >things - try not to pick an airplane that's going to crash.
    > >An incident like that can ruin your travel experience. If
    > >you like aggressive flying, you're gonna love the way those
    > >Chinese military pilots handle an airplane - "Yeah, Baby!"
    > >
    > >Of course, your tour might be perfect, and none of this will
    > >apply. I hope that's the case.
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >TM
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >Carey Carlan wrote:
    > >>
    > >> One of the groups I record may let me accompany them to China next year. I
    > >> have the usual list of travel gotchas (shots, papers, etc.) What audio
    > >> concerns do I have aside from power?
  7. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    "Carey Carlan" <gulfjoe@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:Xns962C4FC07C326gulfjoehotmailcom@207.69.189.191
    > One of the groups I record may let me accompany them to China next
    > year. I have the usual list of travel gotchas (shots, papers, etc.)
    > What audio concerns do I have aside from power?
    >
    > I know I'll need sturdier racks and better boxes for mic stands,
    etc.

    You might want to try asking this question over in
    alt.audio.pro.live-sound.
  8. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    I know a guy that was in China 4 years ago playing with a rock band.
    They were given specific dos and don'ts by the agency that set up their
    itinerary, and were going to be there about three months, and make a
    lot of money. I don't know exactly what happened , but the bass player
    ended up doing 15 months in jail for fraternizing with some local
    girls, something he was specifically told they could not do.
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